The baby watch has ended and ... it's a boy!
The Duchess of Sussex, better known as Meghan Markle, yesterday gave birth to the British monarchy's first mixed-race child. Retailers around the country are set to see their cash registers ring amid the celebrations.
Meghan, 37, went into labor in the early hours of Monday morning with Prince Harry, 34, by her side, according to Buckingham Palace. Their son's name has yet to be released and it is unclear if he will receive a royal title.
The new arrival will be the seventh in line to the British throne, behind the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge and his three children, as well as his father the Duke of Sussex. The highly-anticipated birth of "Baby Sussex" is likely to spur demand in the U.S. for more British products, given his parents' popularity on both sides of the Atlantic.
The royal family is one of Britain's biggest brands and was estimated to be worth around $88 billion in 2017. According to a report by global valuation firm Brand Finance, this is due to "tangible" earnings from the Crown Estate, "as well as the monarchy’s indirect effect on various industries, such as tourism, trade, media and arts."
The "intangible" benefits also stem from "royal warrants and coats of arms, benefits enjoyed by charities and institutions under royal patronage, the advertising value of extra coverage for Brand Britain in global media, and the commercial boost experienced by British brands informally endorsed by members of the royal family."
"The economic benefits generated by the Monarchy come at a very low expense to the British nation, equal to only £4.50 ($6) per person per year or just over one pence a day," the report said. In comparison, Brand Finance projects that each of the royal children will generate billions of dollars in value for the U.K. economy during their lifetimes.